• ATP Tour

Federer untouchable against Istomin at Indian Wells

ESPN staff
March 10, 2013
Roger Federer barely broke sweat against Denis Istomin © AP

Roger Federer beat Denis Istomin of Russia 6-2 6-3 in their second-round match at Indian Wells on Saturday, hours before Rafael Nadal made his return to hard-court action.

Federer, who won his fourth title at the event last year, lost just four points on serve, all in the first set. Two of those were by double-faults, and he never faced a break point as he won 96 per cent of his first serves.

"It felt good from the start and I was able to maintain that level of play," Federer said. "I never thought he got into the match at all. That gives you obviously even more confidence."

Federer was done in 58 minutes, a contrast to the two hours and 23 minutes it took Lleyton Hewitt to upset No. 15 seed John Isner 6-7(6) 6-3 6-4.

"I did what I could," Hewitt said. "I think I handled his serve pretty well and I made him hit a lot of balls.

"I felt like I had more chances throughout the match. The first set could have gone either way and then I dug deep early in the second set to get up a break. That was a big momentum change."

The second of the two service breaks by Hewitt, in game seven of the third set, gave the 2002-2003 champion a 4-3 lead. He added to it by holding serve for 5-3. Then, after Isner held for 5-4, Hewitt served out the match.

It didn't come easily, however. He got to 40-15 with a forehand pass, then lost three match points and fought off a break point before securing the win with a forehand down the line.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa ousted No. 4 seed David Ferrer of Spain 3-6 6-4 6-3. Ferrer lost his cool when an umpire incorrectly overruled one of his shots, and he never recovered as Anderson took out one of the tour's form players.

In other matches, Benoit Paire of France beat No. 20 Philipp Kohlschreiber, Jarkko Nieminen of Finland topped No. 28 Fernando Verdasco and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina eliminated No. 30 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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